Conservative Baptist Association of America

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The Conservative Baptist Association of America is a Christian association of churches in the United States with each local congregation being autonomous and responsible for their own way of functioning.

History[edit]

The first organization of Conservative Baptists was the Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society (CBFMS), now called WorldVenture, formed in Chicago, Illinois, in 1943. The Conservative Baptist Association of America was organized in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1947. The Association operates under the name CBAmerica. The Conservative Baptist Association emerged as part of the continuing Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy within the Northern Baptist Convention. The forming churches were fundamentalist/conservative churches that had remained in cooperation with the Northern Baptist Convention after other churches had left, such as those that formed the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches. At the 1946 NBC meeting, the old convention made it clear that it would not allow a competing missionary agency to operate within it. Churches withdrew, forming the new association, and hundreds of others withdrew in the following years. The conservatives were in the majority in Minnesota and Arizona, and the Northern Baptists lost those state agencies.[1]

Constituents[edit]

The movement presently supports three national agencies - CBAmerica, WorldVenture (formerly CBFMS, then CBInternational), and Missions Door (formerly Conservative Baptist Home Mission Society, then Mission To The Americas). Conservative Baptists also cooperate with affiliated institutions of higher learning as well as youth and women's ministries. Each local Conservative Baptist church is an autonomous organization in voluntary affiliation with each other through regional associations.

Reorganization[edit]

Until a structural reorganization began in early 2004, CBAmerica was a network of churches and ministries, committed to evangelization and church planting. In 2003, its membership comprised over 1200 churches representing over 200,000 church members.

Following the dissolution of an Organization Task Force after an unsuccessful attempt to unite the national agencies in a single structure and vision, CBAmerica was reorganized as “a covenantal fellowship of Regional Associations of Conservative Baptist churches, which have joined together to make the most of the God-given strengths of each member Region for a common purpose.” [2] In 2005 new bylaws were adopted whereby regional associations of local churches are the only members of CBAmerica; the local churches themselves are members of the regional associations and no longer have any direct participation in the national organization. The regional directors and their boards, as representatives of their member churches, are organizationally and relationally bound through the Covenant of the Regions. [3] The regional directors comprise the CBAmerica Board, representing the interests of the regions and the member churches of the regions. CBAmerica is led by a leadership team consisting of a Catalyst (Board Chairman), a Facilitator and a Connector (Board Secretary/Treasurer). As of 2014, the staff of CBAmerica listed on its website were limited to a part-time National Network Facilitator and a Director of Chaplaincy.

Though local churches are no longer members of CBAmerica itself, the slogan on its website is “a church-based network of regional ministries.” By “church-based”, CBAmerica is said to express a conviction that the local church is the very foundation for fulfilling the Christian mission. The regional associations of CBAmerica exist to support and encourage the ministry of the local church to fulfill the Great Commission. CBAmerica’s values are helping the churches of the regions, and the regions themselves, develop healthy reproducing churches, effective local church leadership and the establishment of new churches.

International ties[edit]

CBAmerica maintains fellowship and relationship with networks of churches in other countries of the world through CBGlobal, which has a board consisting of national organization leaders but no staff of its own.

References[edit]

Associated educational institutions[edit]

External links[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Baptists Around the World, by Albert W. Wardin, Jr.
  • Dictionary of Baptists in America, Bill J. Leonard, editor
  • Handbook of Denominations, by Frank Mead & Samuel Hill
  • CBAmerica Official Web Site